While taking his nephew to the museum, the last thing Tyler expected to find was he'd happily spend his day studying the gorgeous curator.
Acting on the mutual attraction, Tyler and Riley meet up that evening. Their relationship develops quickly, but Tyler is only on a short break and wonders whether a long distance romance will work for them.
His nephew harbours no such worries. He's quite sure his uncle and Riley are meant to be together. Even if it takes a little help from a special friend.
“Hurry up, Uncle Tyler. You have to see this. He’s amazing.”
With an affectionate smile, Tyler picked up speed to a gentle trot, and hurried around the corner. He collided with something, and looked down to where he’d knocked a dark-haired stranger onto his butt. Luke stood nearby, and stared open-mouthed as the other man looked up with a stunned expression.
“Geez, I’m sorry, bro. Let me help you up.” Tyler instantly took a couple of steps forward.
“No worries, I’m okay. Just an accident. I’m renowned as a bit of a klutz.”
Tyler held out a hand to help the man back to his feet. They both started as electricity crackled audibly between them. They stared at one another until Luke cleared his throat. Loudly.
“Static,” the man said.
Tyler nodded. He was temporarily at a loss for words. The man still sitting on the floor was drop dead gorgeous, and given his uniform, with the Te Papa logo and his name badge, he was obviously one of the museum’s curators.
Tyler was struck by the curator’s large, dark eyes, high cheekbones, and the way the museum lights seemed to make his light copper-toned skin glow. He held out his hand again to help the man stand. This time, his strength took both of them by surprise.
As he pulled, the curator not only came to his feet, but into Tyler’s arms. Tyler expected him to instantly push away, but instead the curator’s hands rested on Tyler’s shoulders. They both smiled.
“Sorry,” Tyler murmured. “Don’t know my own strength.”
“No worries. I’m fine. Um, my name’s Riley. I’m looking after the giant squid exhibit.”
“I’m Tyler. Nice to meet you.”
A second cough made them both look around. “Uncle Tyler, I think you can let him go now. He was going to tell me about the giant squid.”
Both men glanced over at Luke who stood with his hands on his hips, head cocked to one side in a gesture so reminiscent of his older brother that Tyler’s smile turned into a goofy, affectionate grin.
“He’s my older brother’s son,” he said. “Damn, sometimes the similarities are uncanny.” He released Riley, shocked to find he already missed the feel of the other man in his arms.
“That’s nice. I’m an only child. I didn’t have any family nearby, so I was a bit of a book nerd.” Riley started to head towards Luke.
“Do you get a tea break?” Tyler blurted out the words before his mind could censure them.
Riley grinned with delight. “That’s not really a proper break, and sometimes I work through. But if you’re here around one o’clock, I have an hour’s lunch to take.”
“That’s great. Trust me. With Luke, you’re going to earn this lunch.”
Riley winked. “Then I’d best make sure you think I have.”
A few other people had gathered by the exhibit, and ruffling Luke’s hair on his way past, Riley headed over to them. Luke instantly trotted next to him, as though he was meant to be at Riley’s side.
Tyler watched him, growing ever more impressed with Riley, and not just from aesthetic appreciation. Although Riley’s slender build and graceful movements were both more than enough to hold Tyler’s interest. Riley was also interesting and entertaining when talking about his exhibit. Tyler knew he was smiling as he watched Riley’s expressive movements. He looks like a dancer. Like he’s using dance to help tell the story.